One of Jamaica’s leading advocate of arts and music, the internationally acclaimed Frederick “Freddie McGregor” McGregor, OD, in an interview with the press boasted that nothing feels better than being awarded by your people at home. He was not the only Musgrave Medalist who was appreciative of the awards ceremony highlighting Jamaicans in science, arts and literature.
The Musgrave Medals Award Ceremony was held on May 25th, 2017, at the Lecture Hall of the Institute of Jamaica under the patronage of the Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport the Honourable Olivia Grange, CD, MP.
Offering the vote of thanks another silver medalist Tanya Shirley represented the 2017 Musgrave Medalists and said “I say thank you to the Institute of Jamaica for making us feel, even for a moment, like big ships sailing on an ocean.”
Jamaicans have for a long time generally struggled to equate skills to academia, recognising even the relevance of the arts to the development of any nation. The packed to capacity lecture hall, with some of Jamaica’s most revered personalities such as the Honourable Barbara Gloudon, OJ, OD, Hon. LLD, representative of Jamaica’s Chief of Defence staff Major General Rocky Meade, Indecom, British council and ambassadors, in attendance evidenced that awards were welcomed by the public.
2017 Musgrave Medal award-recipients
The six Musgrave Medal award-recipients for 2017 are Professor Herbert Ho Ping Kong (science), gold; Professor Daniel Coore (science), silver; Tanya Shirley (literature), silver; Frederick ‘Freddie’ McGregor (music/arts), silver; Ambassador Dr Basil K. Bryan (literature), bronze; and Eleanor B. Jones (science), bronze.
The Nexxus Performing Arts Centre reiterated the position of the arts as being very relevant with their medley titled ‘Big Ship Suite’, and the inspiration of that rendition Mr Freddie McGregor joined in to endorse the performance. Other performers were Myrna Hague Bradshaw, PhD. (2015 medalist) accompanied by Marjorie Whylie and the East Street Junior Centre Music Group.
After the ceremony, Freddie McGregor encapsulated the feelings of all awardees when he boasted “I feel great. One of the greatest feelings I’ve had in a long time. We’ve got a lot of awards and accolades from abroad, but when it comes to Jamaica, it’s a totally different feeling. There is no award in the world I’ve got that makes me feel the way I do today…. It makes a big difference to be awarded by your people and on local soil.”
The Musgrave Medals Award was founded in 1889 as a memorial to Sir Anthony Musgrave, who founded the Institute of Jamaica in 1879 and who was the governor of Jamaica between 1887-1883.
The Institute of Jamaica since 1897 awards Musgrave Medals and the Musgrave Youth Medal in recognition of notable contributions to literature, science, and art. Artist Mrs Edna Manley OM, wife of the late Norman Manley received the first gold medal for the Arts being her contribution to the advancement of Art and Literature in Jamaica.
Each year students of Jamaica College, another institution to have benefited significantly from Mr Musgrave and his wife attend the ceremony.
In closing, Executive Director of the Institute of Jamaica Dr Vivian Crawford reminded the audience that the medals were awarded to persons who inspired others to realise that “Faith is to believe what we cannot see, and the result is to see what we believe” by their own achievements.